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UP blast toll rises to 22, Rahul visits Rae Bareli (Lead)

Rae Bareli, Nov 2 (IANS) The death toll in the NTPC boiler blast here in Uttar Pradesh rose to 22 on Thursday, with two more injured workers succumbing to their burn injuries, officials said. The government has ordered a magisterial probe into the tragedy.

Rae Bareli District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Khatri told IANS that the number of injured in the Wednesday tragedy at the state-run National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) plant stood at 64. Ten of them have been discharged.

The massive explosion took place in a 500 MW boiler unit in Unchahar town on the Lucknow-Allahabad highway. Many were trapped when a fire erupted in the boiler and a huge ball of dust rose after the blast, making the rescue operations difficult.

Angry locals and family members of the injured alleged that there was a complete absence of medical facilities at the NTPC campus, which pushed up the number of casualties.

On Thursday, contractual labourers at the plant raised slogans against the NTPC management. They claimed they had warned about an impending disaster at unit six as the temperature near the furnace had been steadily rising.

The NTPC has launched a probe into the incident, which it said took place due to “access ash deposition” in the furnace.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited Rae Bareli and met family members of the victims, party sources said.

Rae Bareli is the Lok Sabha constituency of his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. She may not visit the constituency as she is reportedly unwell.

Post Source: Ians feed

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